Neighbors opposed to the new gate being constructed at Camp Murray have taken their fight to Pierce County Superior Court.
The Tillicum Action Committee filed an appeal Friday asking a judge to order the city to reconsider its decision to issue a permit that allows the Washington Military Department to complete the project.
The filing came after the city hearing examiner, James O’Connor, denied last month a second appeal of the permit filed by the committee.
Here’s the petition along with the hearing examiner’s written decision:
Residents in Tillicum have long opposed construction of the gate at located at the intersection of Portland Avenue and Boundary Street because they say it will increase cut-through traffic. The Military Department says the current gate location just south of Union Avenue and Berkeley Street is unsafe for citizen-soldiers, employees and visitors.
The city attached numerous conditions on the permit in an effort to keep drivers from cutting through the neighborhood. They include constructing raised crosswalks on Portland and installing signs indicating that Berkeley and other streets away from the neighborhood are the designated route for Camp Murray traffic.
However, the committee claimed in its petition that the city failed to safeguard residents from the significant increase of traffic on Portland Avenue. It also argued the city violated its own growth policies intended to protect neighborhoods while managing more traffic as Lakewood grows.
Lakewood City Manager Andrew Neiditz wrote in an e-mail that the conditions placed on the permit were “to improve the current situation with Tillicum ‘cut-through’ traffic, not to make it worse. The hearing examiner reviewed this matter twice and concurred with the City’s position.”
The gate is scheduled to open in September, but the Military Department needs the right-of-way permit to finish the project, including construction of a roundabout at Portland and Boundary, and connect the new gate to public streets.
An initial hearing on the latest appeal is scheduled for July 20. No judge has been assigned to the case yet.
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